The School of Architecture is pleased to announce the establishment of the Dr. Nancy Panak Kwallek Endowed Chair in Design and Planning. Named in honor of Professor Kwallek, the longtime director of the school’s Interior Design Program and inaugural holder of the Gene Edward Mikeska Endowed Chair for Interior Design, the endowed chair will support visiting instructors who are practitioners from design and planning fields. Guest professors will be recognized leaders in interior design, architecture, landscape architecture, and community and regional planning, and will serve terms from one semester to two years.
“The establishment of the Dr. Nancy Panak Kwallek Endowed Chair in Design and Planning provides many new opportunities for faculty and student scholarship across the multiple disciplines in our school,” remarked Fritz Steiner, dean of the School of Architecture. “It is a fitting tribute to Nancy Kwallek, whose contributions to the School of Architecture and the field of interior design are significant. We are grateful to The University of Texas at Austin and the generous friends of the School of Architecture for their support of this important initiative.”
As one of the most distinguished faculty appointments at a leading school of architecture, the endowed chair will attract some of the best and brightest designers and planners in the world. Their participation in the School of Architecture’s programs will underscore the school’s high standards of design, further its reputation, and benefit future generations of creators of the built environment.
“I am deeply moved to be recognized in this special way, and thank the School of Architecture and the university for this high honor,” remarked Nancy Kwallek. “Serving as head of the Interior Design program shaped me in indelible ways, and having the opportunity to share my knowledge and love of design with hundreds students over the years was a true privilege.”
An endowment with an initial market value of $1 million, the Kwallek Chair was created with generous gifts from alumni and friends and matched by funds the University received from Longhorn Network revenue allocated by UT Austin President Greg Fenves and his predecessor, Bill Powers. It is an important initiative to recognize Dr. Kwallek’s decades of service to the university and leadership in the field of interior design. As the first faculty endowment named in honor of a woman faculty member at the School of Architecture, it will affirm the school’s commitment to gender equality, and celebrate the accomplishments and contributions of women in design.
About Nancy Panak Kwallek
A native of Ohio, Nancy Panak Kwallek holds an undergraduate degree from Kent State University, a master’s degree from Oregon State University, and a doctorate from Purdue University. Over the last few decades, her research has examined human response to the interior ambience of office environments, where focus is placed on worker mood, productivity, health, well-being, and satisfaction. At The University of Texas at Austin, she established the Master of Interior Design (MID) degree in 2009 and was Director of the Interior Design Program from 1983 until her retirement in 2015.
Dr. Nancy Panak Kwallek
Courtesy, The School of Architecture at The University of Texas at Austin
Photograph by Korey Howell Photography